This crowd favorite chicken tetrazzini makes a double portion of this Southern comfort dish that is easy, make ahead and freezer friendly.
Chicken Tetrazzini is the Ultimate Southern Comfort Dish
Chicken tetrazzini is a casserole with cooked spaghetti pasta, white meat chicken, buttery mushrooms, and cheddar & parmesan cheeses baked into the ultimate Southern comfort food. If you grew up in the South, you’ve surely had a version of this dish. Some folks refer to it as chicken spaghetti.
Chicken Tetrazzini Can Be Made With Canned Soup or Without
There are two versions of chicken tetrazzini in my recipe collection. This version, Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini, uses canned soup to make the sauce. My friend Sally’s Gourmet Chicken Tetrazzini has a homemade sauce (béchamel) that takes it truly over the top. I love this easy version (as does everyone who tries it), but when I want to go all out, I make the gourmet version.
Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini Makes 2 Casseroles
This recipe is perfect because it makes 2 standard size casseroles, making it easy to make one~freeze one. To prepare ahead for a party, I sometimes make this recipe and freeze both casseroles. I also love having a tetrazzini in the freezer to take to someone who might need a meal. This is a perfect “new mommy” dish.
Helpful Tools for Making Chicken Tetrazzini
- Large Mixing Bowl. My fave is this stainless mixing bowl. It comes in several sizes; I prefer the 13″ because I like plenty of room toss ingredients. Note: In the video, you’ll see me using a glass bowl; this was used strictly so that viewers could see the ingredients. It is not what I use when making this at home.
- Adhesive Labels- Labeling freezer food is so important. I love these dissolvable labels that easily remove from nice bakeware and leave no residue.
- Freezer to Oven to Table Bake Ware. This Emilie Henry baking dish is a French bakeware that holds up and looks classic. This larger Le Creuset is another favorite that will do the job beautifully as well.
How to Freeze Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini
If you want to cook this ahead and freeze for later, there are a few things that you’ll want to have on hand so that the tetrazzini will be properly wrapped and not get freezer burn. I almost always make tetrazzini several weeks before I plan to serve it, and it has never tasted one bit like it has been previously frozen.
- Cling Wrap I lay this wrap directly on top of the assembled (but not cooked) tetrazzini and tuck lightly into the corners of the pan. This is a good first layer to prevent ice from forming on the top.
- Aluminum Foil- After pressing Cling Wrap onto the surface of the tetrazzini, I then seal the top of the casserole pan tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil.
- Ziploc Large and X-Large storage bags- These are optional, but I like using them to ensure no freezer burn, especially if I plan to freeze these for a few months. After sealing the pans with cling wrap and foil, I slide each of them into an extra large freezer bag.
How to Cook Chicken Tetrazzini from Frozen
- Best results come from thawing frozen tetrazzini in the fridge a day or two before cooking.
- Remove cling wrap from tetrazzini; replace aluminum foil lightly on top of casserole(s).
- Bake covered at 300 degrees until heated through, roughly a couple of hours.
- The last half hour, remove foil and cook until tetrazzini is golden and bubbling at edges.
- Allow tetrazzini to rest for at least half an hour to firm up to the best consistency.
- If tetrazzini is frozen or partially frozen, allow longer cooking time.
What to serve alongside Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini
In the video below, I am making this Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini ahead and preparing for the freezer.
- 1 (12 oz) pkg. spaghetti pasta
- 1 (14.5) oz can chicken broth
- 4-5 cups cooked chicken, chopped
- 2 cans cream of chicken soup
- 2 cups sour cream
- one carton fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 stick butter
- 3 cups grated cheddar (I recommend sharp)
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- freshly ground pepper
- sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cook chicken (I roast at 400 covered for 45 minutes or until thermometer registers 165 degrees F). Chop and set aside.
- Sauté mushrooms in butter until soft. Season with salt & pepper.
- Cook pasta 7 minutes or until al dente. Drain, toss with a small bit of extra virgin olive oil; set aside.
- Mix soups, sour cream and chicken broth until well blended.
- Stir mushrooms into the soup mixture.
- Add chicken, pasta, and cheddar cheese. Stir until well combined and evenly blended.
- Spray pans with Pam; spread tetrazzini in each pan.
- Sprinkle parmesan and paprika on top of each tetrazzini.
- DO AHEAD: If freezing, stop here and freeze before cooking. If cooking, go to next step.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, or until edges begin to bubble.
Serving Size1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 486Total Fat 33gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 169mgSodium 535mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 39g